Anti-Terrorism Day – 21 May
Anti-Terrorism Day is observed on 21st May in India on the death anniversary of the ex-prime minister of India, Shri Rajiv Gandhi. The day is observed to spread the message of peace, harmony, and brotherhood among the youth and make young minds aware that terrorism has no religion, and one should never fall prey to terrorists in any form.
The day also honors the sacrifices made by thousands of soldiers who fought against terrorism. This day is also observed to make people aware of ongoing terrorist activities and the precautions that can be taken by ordinary people to prevent these acts of terrorism.
History of Anti-Terrorism Day
Rajiv Gandhi former Prime Minister of India became a victim of a suicide bomber in Siriperambudur, Tamil Nadu in 1991. Rajiv Gandhi had gone to Tamil Nadu to campaign for the national election after casting his vote in Delhi. The ninth Lok Sabha was dissolved on March 23, 1991, and Rajiv Gandhi was looking forward to returning as the Prime Minister of India.
Rajiv Gandhi, who was the youngest Prime Minister of India when he assumed office on October 31, 1984, following the assassination of his mother Indira Gandhi, soon called for elections, and won 404 of the 485 seats that were contested.
Rajiv Gandhi worked hard to improve relations with India’s neighbors, helped Bangladesh in its hour of crisis when the country was flooded, made sincere efforts to restore peace in Sri Lanka by negotiating with the government there to give autonomy to the Tamil residents in the northern part of the country. He worked hard to establish the SAARC to improve interaction with India’s neighbors.
It was unfortunate that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) thought that Rajiv Gandhi was working against their interests and attacked the Indian Peace Keeping Force. When there was a probability that he would return to office after the 1991 elections, they sent a suicide bomber to Siriperambudur where he had gone for campaigning.
India remembers Rajiv Gandhi as the Prime minister who has brought peace to Punjab through the Punjab Accord of 1985, finding a solution to the disturbances in Assam by signing the Assam Accord and concluding the Mizo Accord. Rajiv Gandhi will also be remembered for ushering India towards the 21st century through the technological revolution. He tried to strengthen democracy by encouraging Panchayati Raj. Rajiv Gandhi also played an important role in promoting international relations.
Rajiv fell a victim to terrorism. Terrorism has now spread the world over, and today, we are struggling to cope with its consequences. All government departments have meetings to observe the day as Anti-Terrorism Day.
How the day is celebrated
On this day, all the offices of the Government of India, the public sector, and other public institutions take a pledge to put in every effort to win the battle against terrorism and eradicate it from society. Various Government rallies and parades are also organized on this day. Debates, discussion, symposium, pledge taking ceremony is held to raise awareness about the acts of terrorism and remind us about human sufferings during various terrorist attacks in our history.
The pledge is – “We, the people of India, having abiding faith in our country’s tradition of non-violence and tolerance, hereby solemnly affirm to oppose with strength, all forms of terrorism and violence. We pledge to uphold and promote peace, social harmony, and understand among all fellow human beings and fight the forces of disruption threatening human lives and values.”
The day spreads the message of peace, humanity, unity, and harmony among the people and makes them aware of the anti-social act of terrorism.
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